Excellence in following Jesus

The WORD in Other Words by Fr Joey Miras SVD (Canada)

23rd Sunday Ordinary Time, Wis 9:13-18b, Phmn 9-10, 12-17, Lk 14:25-33

Serena Williams in presenting Gigi Hadid as one of the Glamour Women of the Year 2017 said that in order to be the best, one had to think that she was the best, had to make a lot of sacrifices, had to work hard and give it all, then success would come.  This advice from one who has made a name for herself in tennis sports, a   tennis icon or goddess, is no different from the advice one will get in living out the   commands of God. Gigi Hadid underlined what it takes to be glamourous. Glamour is not something given on a silver platter.  

Serena Williams is an American professional tennis player ranked by the World   Tennis Association (WTA) as the No.1 player in singles for eight occasions from 2002   to 2017. To be at the top of the game one has to be disciplined and must maintain a very rigorous schedule of top conditioning. Injuries do occur and rehab takes time depending on the injury so an athlete like her does not only take good care of her body but also has to keep on improving her craft. 

Gigi Hadid is also one of the top money   earners in the modeling industry not only because of her natural physical gifts, but also because of her hard work in perfecting her modelling skill. She did not lull herself into belief that because she was beautiful all contracts would simply fall into her lap.   

Christians also need to do the same. We try to be the “best” followers of Christ. We are not supposed to be lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — because God will spit us out of his mouth (Rev 3:16). One does not have to be overly enthusiastic without the rational foundations of the faith and not to be too rational without emotional mysticism. 

The calling of a Christian is to deepen his/her faith. It is not enough to have just received the sacraments, otherwise a Christian is only “sacramentalized”   and never evangelized. It is not enough that the knowledge one had and the practice  of the faith one did when he/she was a kid should remain only on a kid level. 

As one gets older, the greater the responsibility he/she has in articulating the reasons for his/ her belief. One should also be able to distinguish the administrative, doctrinal, moral, liturgical (cultic), historical, ecclesiological, and canonical dimensions of the faith.   

Different professions exact excellence from those who practice them. Discipleship is nothing different from these.

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